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Schifano F, Chiappini S. 
“Is there such a thing as a 'lope' dope? Analysis of loperamide-related European Medicines Agency (EMA) pharmacovigilance database reports”. 
PLoS One. 2018;13(10):e0204443.

BACKGROUND: Among over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, loperamide has recently emerged for its potential of misuse and cardiotoxicity issues. Hence, we aimed here at assessing the loperamide-related cases being reported to the EMA's EudraVigilance (EV) database.

METHODS: All spontaneous EV reports relating to loperamide misuse/abuse/dependence/withdrawal and cardiotoxicity issues were here retrieved, performing a descriptive analysis.

FINDINGS: During the years 2005-2017, EV collected a number of 1,983 (out of a total of 7,895; 25.11%) loperamide-related misuse/abuse/dependence/withdrawal adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports, with a progressively increasing trend since 2014. Most cases were classified as drug use disorder (37.4%) or intentional overdose (25.4%). Loperamide was used on its own in 41.9% of cases; remaining, polydrug, cases included antidepressants; benzodiazepines; and other OTCs. Some 1,085 (1,085/7,895 = 13.7%) cardiovascular ADRs were reported, being conduction abnormalities and EKG alterations the most frequently identified.

CONCLUSIONS: EV data may support the levels of concern relating to loperamide potential of abuse and associated cardiotoxicity issues.
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